"" Life A Bit Sweeter: February 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

T-Shirts & Jewelry Fundraiser

We are super, super, super excited! We have partnered with Mocha Club to offer their amazing original "I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me.  If you haven't checked out Mocha Club before, see how they are changing Africa with commitments of $7 per month, mostly from college students.

Understand what this means and see the t-shirts here:

...and there's a surprise on the inside of the shirt.  It's the explanation of I Need Africa More than Africa Needs Me...

Shirts are $20 and $5 shipping via USPS within the United States.

Sizes run from Small - 2XL

To order, click here to go to our fundraiser page.

Ethiopian Glass Tile Pendants:
The second item is really special also.  I have designed and created Ethiopian glass tile pendant necklaces.   Each handmade necklace is $20 plus $5 shipping.  Find all about these handmade necklaces here.

Please share with family and friends about our new products.  Facebook it, Tweet it, and e-mail our links.   Thanks for reading!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Now That I Have Seen, I Am Responsible

Lyrics to Albertine by Brooke Fraser

I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my eyes

now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet


I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine


I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

Monday, February 15, 2010

Random Photo Collage: It's All About Family

On a random day like today, I thought I'd post my little photo collage that shares some of the cool people in my life...

So here's what you're lookin' at:

1.  "C" at his basketball banquet.  I'm always so proud of his public speaking skills.  At his elementary school, they have family literacy day once a month where beginning in Kindergarten, the kids practice speaking in public.  Love it!  It's worked!

2.  Yep, we're a Chuck-E-Cheese family.  One day when they've graduated from college, I know I'll long for those days that we went to Chuck-E-Cheese and spent the day playing skeet ball, basketball hoops, and eating pizza.

3.  "MJ" and I in our football jerseys.  The funny thing is that he looks like me but acts like his dad whereas "C" - our oldest - looks more like his dad but acts more like me.

4.  "MJ" and one of his cousins hanging out.

5.  Me and my babe after working hard in his mom's backyard for a summer BBQ dinner party she had for a group of teachers.

6.  One of our first family pictures.  The baby is "C" and the oldest in this picture is our son Anthony...he's grown now with a child of his own.

7.  That's "C" playing in the snow.

8.  That's me at probably 6 years old or so.  My mom (who was also my aunt...my birth mother passed away when I was young) had 3 girls.  She ALWAYS kept our hair soooo nice and neat.

9.  The brothers showing some love!

10.  My sister-in-law, my boys, and my niece/nephews.  This was so much fun.  I REALLY have the BEST sister-in-law ever!  It's so cool because her first name is the same as our birth mother's first name and her middle name is my first name....God had to have His hand in this!

11.  My self-portrait after taking the boys and one of their friends to the waterpark which is something I RARELY do without my husband.  This day was a big deal
12.  Me and the boys just hanging out in front of the computer.

13.  Me and my baby at a friend's wedding.  It was one of the hottest days but was one of the COOLEST weddings I've been to in a while....come to think of it, I don't get invited to too many weddings...go figure...maybe it's because most of my friends are already married...hmmm.

14.  "MJ" with his iPod.  It's really hard to find anything beyond Christian music that the boys like and that I think have decent lyrics.  I am forever googling lyrics before downloading songs they request for their iPods...sigh.

15.  Are those legs under the car??? Yep, that's Tony removing a bunch of oil out of the truck after I put way too much in the car...oops!  He said it was low...I guess not that low.

16.  That's my granddaughter.  After having 2 boys, she's the reason that I learned how to do little girl's hair.  I scoured blogs and youtube videos to get it down....thank God for the internet.

17.  "MJ" on a scooter I found at the Thrift Store for around $7.  I love thrift stores and yard sales.

18.  Our first time at Rainforest Cafe.  We hung out with my sister-in-law and her kids...no hubbies...trust me, they didn't mind!

19.  Speaking of my sister-in-law, there is my brother.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my brother.  We've gone through so much together so I think we really understand each other in a way that many people can't.  He shows me lots of love but is not afraid to challenge me when I'm wrong which I appreciate.

20.  "C" at this really cool dental office that I found.  Where was this when I was a kid???

21.  Tony and I on our very first ski trip.  He took lessons.  I was too chicken and I don't like being cold.  Maybe next time...

22.  Tony with his brother's children and a couple others.  Our kids get along really well and it's a ton of fun hanging out with their family.

23.  "C" at the waterpark with an Obama basketball that he won...doing what, yep, playing basketball.  This little boy has loved sports since he was a toddler.  He's very athletic...the funny thing is that today he told me had a body like Reggie Bush...we died laughing....although I think he really thinks he does....gotta love the boy!

That's mi familia.  I love them....there are still lots more of them for you to meet. 

Since we're talking about family, there is no way I can close this post without this all-time favorite family reunion song.  In the African-American family, I don't think it's a good family reunion or family gathering UNLESS you play this song.  Hope you enjoy....I'm grabbing a glass of lemonade and doing a two-step.  (smile)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Are the World....Where Do You Fit?

I've got rich man's problems, what about you?  In the past week, I've heard this a couple of times.  I'm challenged by these words whenever I hear them because I'm convicted by how blessed I am.  How I was chosen to live in a land of abundance and another child thousands of miles away lives in unbelievable poverty is a mystery to me.  The fact that I can choose bottled water and a child somewhere else is dying because they don't have access to clean water just the polluted water in their village.  Or how about the fact that I have to go to the container store to organize my shoes so that they're not all over the floor and another child in a village overseas has never had a pair of shoes even at the age of 10.  How did I end up with so much but they have so little?

Could I possibly have been blessed with so much so that I can share it with those who have nothing at all?  It's a great thought but I pray the thought doesn't just stop there for me.  I pray that God disturbs me by it so much that it causes me to change.  I pray that it disturbs me so much that my goal is not to fatten up my 401K fund so that I can retire and live on easy street.  I pray that it disturbs me so much that if I fatten up my 401K fund it's so that I can cause change in the world for those who are disproportionately impoverished.  The crazy thing about a prayer like this is that I know God will do it.  I know He will disturb me and interrupt my suburban fog to the point of change.

I was a little girl when the original song We Are the World came out.  In fact, I believe my parents still have the LP in the basement of their house.  Although the focused causes are different from then to now, the words still have the same bone-chilling affect in my soul.  I pray that you don't merely enjoy it because of all of the great music artists that were brought together.  I pray that it stirs and awakens in you what you were created to do here on Earth.  We Are The World and you, yes you, have such an important part to play.  We can't do it without you and me.

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Well, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
So there cries for help
will not be in vein
We can’t let them suffer
No we cannot turn away
Right now they need a helping hand


When you’re down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change can only come
When we stand together as one

Repeat Chorus 4x

We all need somebody that we can lean on
when you wake up look around and see that your dream's gone
when the earth quakes we’ll help you make it through the storm
when the floor breaks a magic carpet to stand on
we are the World united by love so strong
when the radio isn’t on you can hear the songs
a guided light on the dark road you're walking on
a sign post to find the dreams you thought was gone
someone to help you move the obstacles you stumbled on
someone to help you rebuild after the rubble’s gone
we are the World connected by a common bond
Love the whole planet sing it along

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
Got to start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Everyday citizens
everybody pitching in

You and I
You and I
Uh, 12 days no water
What's your will to live
we amplified the love we watching multiple
Feeling like the Worlds end
we can make the World win
Like Katrina, Africa, Indonesia
and now Haiti needs us, they need us, they need us

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
Got to start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Haiti, Haiti, Ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha
Haiti, Haiti, Ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha
Haiti, Haiti, Ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Copycat Blessings

Back in 2007, as an independent consultant, I started selling a product line called Blessings Unlimited, a subsidiary of DaySpring and Hallmark.  The products are scripture-based and simply amazing.  In fact, I still display and use some of the pieces in my home.  I gave up selling the products and just last week threw out ALL of my catalogs and order forms.  Although Tony and I have been brainstorming about ways to increase our income to support our adoption, I totally dismissed Blessings Unlimited as an opportunity because the commission is 25% and I was thinking...hmm...25% for the sale of a box of $10 greeting cards...no, I don't think so -- I need something a lot bigger

Well, out of the clear blue yesterday, I got a call from the corporate office because a woman in Washington, DC wanted to place an order.  (To tell the truth, I was waiting for Ms. D from our corporate office to stop talking because I wanted to interject and tell her I've been meaning to call them to cancel my status as a consultant.  For some reason, I just couldn't do so.)  I politely told Ms. D, okay, I'll call her.  When I called this mystery customer, she was the sweetest elderly woman who said she'd been trying to reach the woman who gave her the catalog back in August but the woman wouldn't follow back up with her. Because of this, she called the home office.  We spent some time on the phone as she shared some wisdom with me about life and I later prayed with her about some situations in her own life.  When it was all said and done, this mystery customer was such a breath of fresh air in my day.  The icing on the cake was that she didn't want to place a small order.  In fact, her order totaled a little over $100.  She decided to purchase these two items:

Hope Framed Print for her granddaughter 

and a desktop compass for her grandson-to-be

I was totally blown away.  Throughout this process, I've been talking to other families about what 'they' have done to finance their adoption.  I wanted to know what worked well and what didn't so that I could try to duplicate much of it.  What I took to heart yesterday is that the way that God works out our adoption journey will sometimes be different than the way He works it out for amazing families like the Dubois', the Boyd's, the Wages', the Davis', the Kidd's, or the Bottomley's.  God is sovereign and an out-of-the-box creative kind of thinker.  Sometimes there will be delays but all the while I know that He is writing our child's love story.  He loves her and us so much that our story and testimony won't be cookie cutter.  He's created our story and testimony for a specific purpose.  I think so often we look at the lives of others and the ways they have been blessed and we want God to replicate that for us in some capacity.  Of course, we want Him to do it RIGHT NOW!  We try to put God in a box that He was never meant to occupy.  It's not that we should stop asking God for what we want and even desire because He tells us to do so; however, let's be open to the billion ways that God can work out your situation.

The funny thing about this call from Ms. D from our corporate office was that when I talked to her after I completed this sale, I was transparent with her and shared with her my thoughts about continuing with Blessings Unlimited and how I had just thrown out all of my sales aids.  I further shared with her how much I appreciated the way God used her to teach me such a valuable lesson.  What Ms. D responded with was that just earlier, she had prayed, "Lord, use me."  She wasn't specific about 'how' He should use her.  She just simply said, "Use ME" and He did.

Oh...and just in case you were wondering about Blessings Unlimited, yep, I've decided to definitely continue selling the products.  Click here to preview the products at  www.michellemckinney.blessingsdirect.com.

100% of my profits go towards the adoption.  AND YES, I've learned that even the $10 greeting card purchases are a HUGE WIN in our adoption journey.  If you'd like to support us in this way, you can choose to make a purchase now or wait until our home study is completed; it's all up to you.  Please don't forget to share the link with your family and friends.

Chew on this -- Joyce Meyer says this in her book Simple Prayer:
So we have to trust God enough to say, "You know, God, I have the confidence to ask You for anything.  But I don't want anything that is not Your will for me.  And I trust You, God.  If I don't get it I will know that the timing is  not right or that You have something better for me and I simply have not thought to ask for it yet.  But I am not going to get a bad attitude or go pout because You are not giving me everything I want."

So tell me, What about you?  What has God done in your life that has just blown you away because it's not what you were expecting at all?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Before & After on a Snowy Day

So, I tweeted earlier that I was "Sitting in my office with a seam ripper, scissors, and a skirt I don't wear anymore. Sewing machine staring at me. What will happen?"

Well, I'll tell you what happened...visions of Africa danced in my head.

Here's the skirt that's been sitting in my closet for a year.  I loved it at the time but due to the relaxed dress code of my job (which I love), I RARELY EVER wear skirts anymore so this baby has been taking up space:

And a few how-to conversations later with my AWAA/blog buddy Andrea, this unwanted skirt turned into the focal point of a very cool t-shirt design....so much more totally in-line with my life right now...comfortable and chic.  
I'm not sure yet but I may go in the direction of using these as our fundraiser tees.  The map colors and fabrics will all be different for each tee and I'll become more of a pro at sewing...I don't know, what do you think???
("CJ", our 10-year old, was my fashion photographer for this pic...at one point, he even said, "Open your eyes a little more." LOL.  Hopefully you'll get the gist of it to see that the skirt became a replica of the continent of Africa...do you see?)

What's the Title of Your Autobiography?

Right now in the DC area, we've been pounded with lots of snow.  I'm sure Chicago natives are getting a good laugh at us right now.  When it snows in places like Chicago, the folks there just keep it moving.  But in DC, if the weather man even calls for snow, EVERYTHING shuts down and the grocery store is jammed pack.  (I'm sure this is driving our newcomer, Barack Obama, crazy!  That's okay, we'll break him in!)  So if you don't believe the craziness of it all and you want proof, check out this grocery store line I was in yesterday...and this was the 'short' express lane...

My cart is just behind this guy's cart and then there were 7 more carts behind me...yikes!  (Just for the record, I went to the store days ago but we needed to take a relative to the store so my husband insisted that I go inside also and pick up some bacon, stuff for tacos, and more milk.)

Anyway, my point is that plenty of people here are hibernating.  With so much time on my hands, it's a great idea for me to dive into preparing for our home study.  There are lots of instructions and documents for us to read and fill-out.  In reading our Maryland Home Study guidelines, I found out my husband and I have to each write an autobiography of our life.  We're not talking about a one paragraph summary here...they are asking for approximately 2-4 typewritten pages.  Remember in school when you got these kind of assignments in school?  You'd try to double space it and if you got really creative, you figured that full justifying your document would really make the page look full!  LOL.  Knowing how thorough the requirements are, I'm thinking double-spacing and full justifying my document won't count!  It's all good because if that means it brings us one step closer to baby girl, let the writing commence.  Now if you know Tony and I pretty well, you'll know that I enjoy writing....now my baby Tony on the other hand, he'd rather be sentenced to changing baby girl's poopy diapers for a year by himself....hmmm...sounds like some bartering may be taking place soon.  (BIG smile)  But seriously, I'm sure I'll be taking notes soon while he dictates his life story to me.  And that's okay too because it's the yin and the yang of our marriage.

All of this got me thinking about my life story and how each of us has a book.  Whether you actually sit down and write your autobiography or not, we all have a story to tell.  If I had to write an autobiography of my life, here's what I'd title it and why:

My Book Title:  Not Forgotten
Why:  I always thought the death of my mom when I was young defined who I was going to be.  Although I missed so much from not having my biological mom in my life, God never forgot about me and the maternal nurturing I would need.  He sent woman after woman into my life to love on me, challenge me, and guide me along the path that God had created just for me.  Time and time again, God has shown me in my life that he has not forgotten about me.  He continues to restore all that I felt that I missed in my childhood and blesses me with so much more...more than I could ever ask, imagine, or think.  What I've learned through these years is that while my mom's death was a defining moment, it wasn't the whole book.  It was the introduction and the chapters of my life are still being written.

So that's me.

Your turn:  If you wrote your autobiography today, what would be the title of your book and why?

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's Home Study Time!!!

Our next major stop on the adoption train is the completion of our home study.

What is a Home Study?
The homestudy is a major part of the adoption process.  It allows our adoption agency, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office (USCIS), and foreign government to assess our ability as parents to provide a loving and stable home for our adopted child.  It can be intimidating in the beginning to know that you and your family will be asked very personal questions and have every crevice of your life analyzed for someone to make a determination about whether or not you're a good parent.  At the same time, I'm anxious to get started because this is such a big piece to the puzzle.

In order to start our home study, we must finish saving for our home study fee and what I've called Phase One of the adoption process. 
Phase One
Application Fees:  $250 (PAID)
1st Installment program Fee:  $1,500 (PAID)
Home Study, Training, Background Checks, & Miscellaneous Documents:  $3,863 (Still Saving)

If you'll remember, we estimate that the total adoption cost will be around $25K.  What we are doing so that we are not overwhelmed is eating the financial elephant one bite at a time...so to speak.  By breaking this number into smaller goals, it definitely feels more attainable.
So to-date, we have saved $1252.02 towards the $3863 home study part of this goal.  We've already paid for the other two items in this phase.

I'm using this blog so that our supporters can cheer us on and so that we can chart our progress.  At this stage of the process, we are holding off on asking for support until we complete the home study which we feel gives us more of a green light to move forward with the adoption.  So what do we need from you???  Simply cheer us on and pray for us.  If you'd still like to donate towards the adoption prior to the completion of the home study, feel free to do so...ya know we won't turn that down (smile).

So here's our cute little Ethiopian piggy bank where we place our savings.  I try to go to the bank each week so that we can see our savings amount move up frequently....isn't it adorable???

 To help feed our little piggy because we definitely want it to get nice and fat (smile), we'll be doing a number of things.  We are:
  • continuing to dramatically shrink our household expenses.
  • selling some items on Ebay, Craigslist, and online garage sales (be on the lookout for some great deals!)
  • taking some side work job assignments such as Tony fixing computers and me doing some administrative work (typing, organizing files, etc.).  If you know anyone who would like either of these services, please let us know.

We'll keep you posted on how things are going but before I let you go, I have to tell you how stoked I was when I saw the below image.  I've been with our staff in Leesburg, VA since last Thursday (I just got home on Sunday afternoon).  We were snowed in with 35 inches of snow on the ground.  As I was passing through the lobby, I saw the flight board.  It caught my eye so much, that I backed up quickly to do a double-take....can you see, can you see???  Pretty much all of the flights out of Dulles Airport were canceled except this one...

Hopefully, the next time I see this flight on a board again, I'll actually be getting ready to board it with my hubby en route to pick up baby girl!

Much love!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Got A Facelift & Adoption Q&A

Yep, while I was on vacation from work for about a week, I got a facelift!  Well my physical body didn't get one but this blog sure did thanks to Katie over at Polka Dot Pig.  She's creative, does amazing work, has very reasonable prices, and her turnaround time is wonderful.  She also creates these amazing word albums (and a few other things) that are fantastic gifts.  I can't wait to order one for our little girl!  Check them out here!

So I thought I'd get things started with this new facelift by answering questions that others have asked about our family pursuing adoption from Ethiopia.  Let's roll...

"I thought you and Tony were finished having children.  Didn't Michelle even go as far as having her tubes tied shortly after giving birth to your youngest son?"
Have you ever heard that saying that goes, "Man plans and God laughs"?  I think that is so true in our case.  I was never one to want a large family; in fact, in my high school/college years, my friends could tell you that a family was so not a part of my jet-setting plans!  LOL.  Although we had talked about adoption very early in our marriage, after finally getting the hang of our boy's schedules and also going through our share of marriage trials (as do all married couples), we decided two little boys were enough.  (smile)  In fact, I had my tubes tied "the day" my ob/gyn gave me the green light and Tony signed the consent form (a necessity since I was 26 and according to the doctors had many child-bearing years left in me--smile).  After making that decision and over the life of our 12 years of marriage, my life has changed so much thanks to my relationship with God and the growth in my relationship with my husband.  Both of them have had a major influence in my personality, focus, and priorities.  I  began to do a shift that I believe are clearly more in line with God's purpose for my life/our life together.  (If you notice my language in the beginning of this paragraph, there is a lot of focus on what "I" wanted.  "I" never considered what God wanted from us as a family.)    Isaiah 55:8 (New Living Translation) says "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts" says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."  WHOA!  When God began to plant this desire to pursue adoption again, the crazy thing is that although we have this longing for a little girl, NOTHING in me longs to have a 'biological' child.  Nothing in me longs to go through pregnancy again....absolutely nothing.  I have to attribute this desire to God because if I did have any of that longing, knowing how determined I am and how much I love research, I would be doing everything in my power to reverse the tubaligation and go through the fertility process.  That's not my desire.  It's not my husband's desire.  We can only explain it as this has to be God's desire for our family.

"Why not adopt a child from the USA?  There are so many children here who need to be adopted.  Also, what made you choose Ethiopia as opposed to other countries?  With the devastation in Haiti, why not Haiti?"
Hmmm....those are great questions.  It's slightly similar to a man/woman who is going out to buy a car.  Some choose to buy foreign cars whereas others feel that domestic is the absolute only way...support local families, jobs/workforce, and business in the U.S.  Clearly, we're not  buying a car, goods, or even 'buying' a child (although some like to use those words which are absolutely incorrect.....after all, aren't there expenses associated with the children that you give birth to...medical, hospital, childcare, education, etc.)  Back to my point, what you choose still just comes down to a personal preference.  For some, what I am going to say may be pushed away as being "super" spiritual and if so, that's okay too because my answer is just absolute truth.  The only way to really explain this is to say that God has given us a burden for Ethiopia.  It has started with me and Tony is in agreement.  I have such a longing for Ethiopia.  I've never been and in fact I've never enjoyed traveling.  Even as I type this response, I'm holding back tears just thinking about Ethiopia.  My heart longs.  My heart aches.  My heart is burdened for Ethiopia which I believe goes beyond my daughter.  I can't explain it.  I didn't see a video about suffering in Ethiopia that changed my heart.  I didn't go on a missions trip that shifted my heart.  All I know is that there is a nagging on my heart and in my very being for a nation that I have never known.  Sure, there are many children in the USA and Haiti that need mommies, daddies, and families.  I can't deny that.  I also cannot deny what God has put in my heart for our family and my husband stands in agreement about it.  We are at peace about it and really pray that our family and friends would be at peace with it too.  At the same time, we understand that God has given the vision to us and not to them.  With that said, peace abounds but we can't deny that sometimes the snide comments, and lack of support hurts.

"What about your boys, MJ and C, how do they feel about the adoption and having a little sister?
They are so excited!  They just can't wait for us to finally get placed with a child and bring her home.  We're confident that they will adjust really well.  They even put their coins and sometimes dollars into our piggy bank.

"What would you say has been the greatest challenge with regard to foreign adoption?"
Honestly, being totally real with you, the cost of the adoption is the hugest challenge.  No matter how many families you talk to that are in our position, you'll probably get this same answer.  There seems to be more opportunities for financial breaks for domestic adoptions whereas international adoptions bring in their own set of additional costs.

"If you don't mind me asking, exactly how much will the adoption cost?"
The total cost is estimated at around $25,000 which includes our travel for me and Tony to pick-up our daughter.  This cost includes fees to our agency to work on our behalf, childcare/medical and orphanage charges for our daughter while in Ethiopia, hours of required training for me and Tony, homestudy (thorough investigation of our family by a social worker), and TONS of paperwork that must be authenticated for the United States and Ethiopian governments.  We truly don't mind this question because our desire is to share as much information as possible about our adoption journey and remain totally transparent as a way to educate others who hopefully would like to adopt (whether domestically or internationally). Our second desire is that our family, friends, and acquaintances will be prayerful about financially supporting our adoption once we have completed our homestudy.

"How do you keep the faith amidst setbacks?"
To be honest, sometimes it's tough.  Just like anything else in life, sometimes we experience doubt that God would deem us worthy enough to be blessed with such an amazing opportunity to expand our family.  We really believe that this little one will be more of a blessing to us than we will be to her.  (Just as a side note, please, please, please, do not refer to our adoption as us saving her.  We are not saving her.  Yes, we believe that we can provide opportunities for her that she otherwise may not receive while in Ethiopia and in an orphanage but please understand, we are just so blessed to be a part of something so big that God will do in her life and in the lives of others in Ethiopia through extended missions work in Ethiopia after our adoption is completed.)

There are times when my faith is low in terms of the mountains that we must climb through the this journey.  In fact, there are some times when I don't feel/see God's hand at work in our situation.  There are times that I want to rush the process.  Right now, as I type this I'm listening to a song that I discovered today by one of my favorite singers, Brooke Fraser.  It's called "Faithful". The verses say:

There's a distance in the air and I cannot make it leave
I wave my arms 'round about me and blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close, though I know you're always here
But the comfort of You near is what I long for

When I can't feel You, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear You, I know You still hear every word I pray
And I want You more than I want to live another day
And as I wait for You maybe I'm made more faithful

WOW!!!!  What if in this process, God is doing such a work in me that even the waiting, the heartache, and the disappointments cause me to willingly become more faithful, more hungry, more thirsty for my relationship and intimacy with God.  For that alone, every heartache and disappointment is worth it if it makes me desperate for my Savior.  It's so worth it! 

Thanks so much for your interest and questions to get more clarity.  We really appreciate it!  If you have more questions, just leave them in the comments section of this blog post.

Much love!

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